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Building Resilience: 7 Steps to Overcome Career Setbacks

In every personโ€™s career journey, setbacks happen. Regardless of the occurrence, setbacks can be emotionally challenging and might lead you to doubt yourself. In those situations, the people that bounce back are those who emerge stronger, wiser, and more successful. In this article, we will explore strategies to help you build resilience and overcome setbacks in your career.

This is Part 5 of the Resilience Series. If you missed the earlier articles, you can read the entire series HERE.

1. Acknowledge Your Emotions

When faced with a setback, itโ€™s natural to experience a range of emotions, like disappointment, frustration, or anger. Rather than suppressing or ignoring these feelings, itโ€™s important to acknowledge and accept them. Allowing yourself time and space to process your feelings can help you move forward with clarity.

2. Reframe Your Perception

Setbacks often create a negative narrative in our minds that can turn into an unpleasant and consistent mental spin. When focusing on the bad, we stay there and that clouds our judgment and affects our view of life around us. Itโ€™s crucial to reframe your perception of the setback and view it as a space for growth and learning. By shifting your mindset away from failure and moving it toward opportunity, you develop healthy and resilient habits.

3. Analyze Setbacks

Take a step back and objectively analyze what led to the setback. Identify the factors within your control and those beyond your control. By understanding the root causes, you can better strategize for future success. Assess your own performance, skills, and knowledge, and identify areas for improvement. This is an area I discussed in Part 4 of this series when I discussed the โ€œAfter Action Reviewโ€.

4. Set Realistic Goals

After analyzing the setback, set realistic and achievable goals to help you move forward. Split your goals into smaller, more manageable tasks that will enable you to make progress. Focus on areas that require improvement and develop actionable plans. When setting clear goals and working through smaller parts at a time, you create more successful moments that strengthen your skills, confidence, and resilience.

Goals and setbacks5. Build a Support Network

Having a strong support network is essential. Reach out to friends, mentors, or colleagues who can provide guidance, encouragement, and perspective. There is a lot of value with a second set of eyes. We can often become too close to the project and create tunnel vision, missing alternative ways to complete a task.

The second view is important when amid setbacks. Trusted people can ease the process and provide insights from different perspectives. There is also a lot of value in professional memberships. Chances are, members of those professional groups have dealt with similar challenges. The members within your professional circle can offer valuable advice.

6. Practice Self-Care

This is an area of importance that is touched on in some form repeatedly throughout the resilience series. Setbacks can be mentally and emotionally draining, making self-care essential for recovery. Engage in activities that bring you joy and help you disconnect from work-related stressors. Incorporate exercise into your routine. Walk, take the stairs, get your blood flow moving.

My last organization came with two 15-minute breaks and a lunch. After a stroke, those two breaks for a walk were vital to a mental shift and physical recovery. I also kept a set of elastic exercise bands at my desk.

When work was hectic, I could still read a computer screen while doing some simple bicep exercises. The increase in blood flow increased activity in my brain and I got more done.

Also, be sure to get enough rest, eat a healthy diet and stay hydrated. Do you stay hydrated? If you just said yes, you are probably fibbing. Very few of us get the full hydration we need, and coffee is not hydration. Our body is a machine, and it needs to be lubricated just like a car needs oil to function.

The need to address self-care cannot be addressed enough. Engage in hobbies or activities that help you relax and bring a sense of joy. Taking care of yourself physically and mentally will enable you to approach setbacks with a clear and positive mindset.

7. Engage in Resilience-Building Practices

To enhance your resilience, incorporate various practices into your routine. Cultivate a growth mindset by focusing on continuous learning and a belief in your ability to improve.

Develop problem-solving skills by seeking opportunities to face challenges and find innovative solutions.

Practice adaptability by embracing change and being open to new possibilities. Finally, practice gratitude by recognizing your achievements and the support you receive from trusted people around you.

When working through parts of a project that seem challenging, write them down. It becomes easy to trudge through tedious parts of a process without fully capturing the details. Always consider a mindset of continuous improvement. The areas you capture for improvement are useful during an after action review.

Final Thoughts

To thrive in your career, it’s essential to build resilience and overcome setbacks. By acknowledging your emotions, reframing your perception, analyzing setbacks, setting realistic goals, seeking support, practicing self-care, and engaging in resilience-building practices, you can develop the strength and fortitude to overcome any setback that comes your way.

Despite what some in our world might try to communicate, setbacks are not a measure of your worth, but an opportunity for growth, learning, and future success.

About the Author

Anthony M. Davis is a Certified Leadership, Success and Stress Coach. He is a clinically trained Board Certified Hypnotherapist.

He has earned a national reputation for his Transformative Life Centering work with clients from across the nation. His unique approach helps clients remove underlying fears and triggers, and then through coaching, helps them pursue and accomplish life and career goals.

He provides coaching and Hypnotherapy sessions remotely through Zoom. If you have challenges and are ready to move past them, Contact him Here to create the life change you desire.

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